Simply Spirit

Christine Schenk's column is a regular feature of National Catholic Reporter.

'Circling the City with Love' campaign aims to bridge cultural divides

Simply Spirit - Well, last week was a terrible-awful-no-good-week in Lake Woebegone — my home country.It got so bad that this news junkie just didn't want to watch the news anymore. I had to face up to my fear that we're all going to hell in a hand basket. Decades of coalition work for civil rights, for peace, for justice, for racial harmony, all down the tubes. Our nonviolent ideals totally shot to hell by violence.  

My family and the Sacred Heart

It is June and every year around this time my thoughts turn to my Dad, who died nine years ago on June 16, (Father's Day weekend) at age 87. What nudges my memory is the Feast of the Sacred Heart, held this year on June 3, but in 2007 it was celebrated on June 15, the eve of Dad's passing. (The feast follows the liturgical year and is always celebrated 19 days after Pentecost.)

It is time to free Mary and let God have her own maternal face

It is May, and like every good Catholic girl of a certain age, I remember this as the month we celebrate Mary, the mother of Jesus. A lot of terrific recent scholarship is helping my generation recover from earlier interpretations of Mary as a revered (if impossible to imitate) virgin-mother role model often portrayed as silent, passive, and obedient.